Category Archives: Money

information and tips on how to save money, apply for jobs and scholarships and anything else relating to finances

Localiter!

A new locally-owned, group-purchasing site, Localiter,  recently launched in Austin that allows users to get huge discounts once a minimum number of consumers purchase a particular voucher.

How it works
Picture this; you wake up and check your inbox to find an e-mail from Localiter offering a 50% off deal to Lift Cafe. You open the e-mail and read more, discovering that you can pay $5 and receive a $10 coupon, provided at least 20 coupons are purchased.

Lift Cafe: Photo by Drew Bean

So you sign up to pay the $5 and forward the e-mail to your friends and then post the deal on your Facebook and Twitter either because you really want to try Lift Cafe for the first time or because it’s one of your local favorites and you want to get a sweet deal.

Then, once enough people sign up for the coupon, Localiter charges your credit card and sends you the voucher, which you then print and take with you to Lift Cafe to get $10 worth of coffee, smoothies, and sandwiches.

Pros and Cons

Customer
Pro- huge discounts for buying a coupon and the opportunity to forward the deal to  friends
Con- no discount if enough people don’t purchase the voucher

Businesses
Pro- opportunity to reach new customers and convert them into “regulars”
Con- possibility of just bringing in old customers armed with huge discounts

Hear it discussed by Kristina Garza, the owner of Localiter, and John Voss, the manager of Lift Cafe, one of the first locally-owned businesses to use Localiter to attract new customers.

Applying for University Scholarships

So I just completed my Continuing Scholarship application for the upcoming 2010-2011 school year. The deadline for the scholarship is midnight on April 1, but in order to be considered for the Texas Exes scholarships I had to get it in by March 1–which is TOMORROW!

These 28 days in February really threw me off, but I am now back on track.

In talking to my friends about the scholarship I learned that a lot of them were not even applying for it because they either didn’t know where to go to find the application online or didn’t know about it at all.

Well if you are in the same boat as them, then I am here to help you out.

This year, many students are going to be looking at financial aid to help lessen the blow that the economy has had on jobs and income. Many will also need more than government aid to get through the year, and scholarships are one great place to start looking for those extra funds.

First things first, complete your FAFSA , which is your application for federal government need-based financial awards, such as grants and loans. To be considered for the full range of scholarships offered through the Office of Student Financial Services, students must complete the FAFSA, which is available beginning January 1. The priority deadline for Fall attendees is March 31.

Many scholarships are based on merit, but in the case of need-based scholarships the FAFSA is often referenced. Get this beast out of the way early because it is tedious and a lot of work.

The second step is to look around for scholarships and start applying. The main site for campus-wide scholarships at UT is Texas Scholarships but be sure to check each individual school for their departmental scholarships. There are also scholarships outside of UT, so just be creative and look around.

Keep in mind, however, that all of these may have different deadlines, so make sure you are aware of when the application is due. Nothing is worse than writing a great personal essay, only to find out that it was due yesterday

Another big key to remember is that some scholarships may require letters of recommendation. If they do, be sure to ask early! I have always heard that two weeks in advance is a pretty good standard, so be sure that you don’t offend your favorite professor or faculty member by asking them the day before. Check out this site from Cornell that has some great tips on asking for letters of recommendation.

Overall, as you can see, the main thing about applying for scholarships is to just stay on top of things. I have found it helpful to keep all of my old essays and have an updated resume on hand so that you have something to reference when filling out each application.

If you decide to apply, good luck! And don’t put it off!